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Olbermann Suspended for Donating to Democrats

So, Keith Olbermann was suspended by NBC for donating money to Democratic candidates. Interesting. As liberal and biased as NBC is accused of being, they still hold their journalists to at least some standard of neutrality. Interesting, because a certain other news organization was basically a fundraising network for Republican candidates this year. Interesting.
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newalex.jpgAlex - I was too weak to give in Too strong to lose
11/07/2010 @ 10:47:38 PM
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Meh. Was "the news" ever really an unbiased agency of information? I feel like this is one of things that people choose to remember "the good old days" of, even though they really probably weren't that much different. If anything the speed and amount of data available today just makes it that much easier to pick out trends and bias, thereby making the bias less important.
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matt.jpgMatt - Ombudsman
11/08/2010 @ 04:37:22 AM
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From what I've read, NBC allows donations if they are ok'd by the bosses. Olbermann didn't seem to seek or get that approval, so that's probably what the major objection of NBC was.

Part of the problem may be that while NBC has these policies, MSNBC, rightly or wrongly, didn't see them as applicable to their outfit (http://www.politico.com/blogs/onmedia/1110/Do_NBC_standards_really_extend_to_MSNBC.html?showall). Best lines from that article, from an MSNBC source, "[NBC News standards] don't have coverage over MSNBC. They used to, back before MSNBC went political" and "As far as I know, there are no ethical standards at MSNBC". Taking this into account you might, if you're so inclined, start to wonder whether there isn't more to the story. Olbermann does have a history of butting heads with his bosses, maybe the folks at NBC were looking for a way to knock him down a peg.

Either way, I agree with the many conservative writers who have come to Olbermann's defense (Bill Kristol, Andy McCarthy, and Jonah Goldberg, among others). Nobody in their right mind would consider Keith an unbiased source of news, so it's stupid to try and hold him (and others like him) to a standard that probably never really worked in the first place.

Finally, since Scott had to throw in the dig at Fox News, I guess it's up to me to put up a defense. As for neutrality, as I pointed out above, people at MSNBC don't even believe that they are under any obligation to follow that ideal. Yes, people at Fox donated to GOP candidates, but (as linked to in the original article) other MSNBC personalities donated to Democratic candidates (presumably they got authorization). If you look at the personalities at Fox who did contribute, they are almost all either hosts of opinion shows, or contributors who's job is to come on and offer their opinion. To believe that they are unbiased, would be as stupid as believing Olbermann is.

If you really want to get into who tries for neutrality and who doesn't, look at election night coverage. Fox News had two of their "straight news" anchors/hosts handle their main coverage, while MSNBC used their opinion hosts (Matthews, Olbermann, Maddow, O'Donnell) to anchor their coverage.
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Matt edited this 2 times, last at 11/08/2010 4:38:50 am
scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
11/08/2010 @ 06:40:48 AM
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Well, to be fair to your last point, MSNBC does not have "straight news" anchors.

And while contributors brought in to give their opinion aren't brought in to be biased*** themselves, isn't it weird that Fox employs so many powerful, main stream Republicans? Just saying. Do any of the other networks even come close that having that many Democrats on their payroll? I actually don't know the answer to that.

***Edit: I meant to say "aren't brought in to be unbiased". What I meant was that contributors can be biased, because they give opinions.
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Scott screwed with this at 11/08/2010 1:00:17 pm
reign_of_fire_150.jpgMicah - 584 Posts
11/08/2010 @ 08:14:14 AM
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Alex Wrote - Yesterday @ 11:47:38 PM
Meh. Was "the news" ever really an unbiased agency of information? I feel like this is one of things that people choose to remember "the good old days" of, even though they really probably weren't that much different.


I know multiple people who have said their grandparents were crying when Walter Cronkite died. I agree a lot with the "good ol' days weren't so good" argument, but I don't really think it applies here or to when the cast of Glee took over the record for #1 singles from the Beatles.

Alex Wrote - Yesterday @ 11:47:38 PM
If anything the speed and amount of data available today just makes it that much easier to pick out trends and bias, thereby making the bias less important.


Assuming people have the ability to pick out trends and bias, which is a pretty large assumption.
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matt.jpgMatt - 3354 Posts
11/08/2010 @ 01:08:27 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 06:40:48 AM
Well, to be fair to your last point, MSNBC does not have "straight news" anchors.


Unless I'm missing a joke, I was referring to non-opinion hosts/contributors, of which MSNBC does have a few (and they could always pull someone from NBC News).

Scott Wrote - Today @ 06:40:48 AM
And while contributors brought in to give their opinion aren't brought in to be biased themselves, isn't it weird that Fox employs so many powerful, main stream Republicans? Just saying. Do any of the other networks even come close that having that many Democrats on their payroll? I actually don't know the answer to that.


As for Democrats being hired at other networks, I'd assume that most people employed by MSNBC and CNN are liberals.

As for the Fox thing, I don't think it's that weird at all. Lots of people enter the TV arena when they are out of politics. Since we just came off of 8 years of a Republican administration, the people hired are going to be more recognizable and seem more "relevant" than those that worked under Clinton (Carville, Begala, Stephanopoulos, Dee Dee Myers, Dick Morris (though he seems to have changed sides), David Gergen, Robert Reich, etc.). Going back further, Chris Matthews worked for a few Democrats (including former Speaker Tip O'Neill) and almost ran for the Senate in Pennsylvania this year. Lawrence O'Donnell worked for the late-Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
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matt.jpgMatt - Washington Bureau Chief
11/08/2010 @ 01:34:49 PM
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Micah Wrote - Today @ 08:14:14 AM
I know multiple people who have said their grandparents were crying when Walter Cronkite died. I agree a lot with the "good ol' days weren't so good" argument, but I don't really think it applies here or to when the cast of Glee took over the record for #1 singles from the Beatles.


Cronkite and others of that era were just as biased as journalists today. The only differences were that it was easier to hide/ignore that fact, and that people didn't have as many opportunities to get their news elsewhere.
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thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - Ombudsman
11/08/2010 @ 02:27:09 PM
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Matt Wrote - Today @ 04:37:22 AM
Nobody in their right mind would consider Keith an unbiased source of news, so it's stupid to try and hold him (and others like him) to a standard that probably never really worked in the first place.


Well, I guess nobody, except for Keith himself. Though based on my qualifier, I may still be right.

http://dailycaller.com/2010/11/06/keith-olbermann-is-an-impartial-journalist-just-ask-him/
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
11/08/2010 @ 02:40:33 PM
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Here's a question about the mainstreamness of the left vs the right. The right (and most of fox news, at least their opinionaters) all seem to agree that Obama is indeed a socialist/marxists/communist. Ask Hannity, Glenn Beck, Limbaugh, whoever. Now, is there a leftist equivalent that is anywhere near this absured that is given mainstream credentials? Well, what are the crazy left-wing ideas pushed by the lefties? That 9/11 was an inside job? I'm trying to think of anything as absured as the socialist thing, but nothing comes to mind. In other words, mainstream conservatives push constantly these absured ideas about Obama, and I don't see that on the left, or at least if someone on the left starts pushing something then they instantly become "a wacko". If you can come up with some, I'd be happy to think on them.
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matt.jpgMatt - 3354 Posts
11/08/2010 @ 02:51:16 PM
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I'm not sure all mainstream conservatives think he is a full fledged socialist, though some might feel that he is pushing policies that lean in that direction (whatever that distinction is worth).

As for what the left calls the right: fascists, racists, bigots, evil, doesn't care about the poor, warmongers, etc.

To the left, it seems that any policy/action from the right is done only for the most despicable reason possible.
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scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
11/08/2010 @ 02:54:04 PM
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Name a single main stream liberal that calls the right a fascist? Because I can name half a dozen main stream conservatives that call Obama a Socialist.
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matt.jpgMatt - 3354 Posts
11/08/2010 @ 02:58:55 PM
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Keith Olbermann

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/brad-wilmouth/2008/02/15/olbermann-invokes-fascism-liar-bush-using-terrorism
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matt.jpgMatt - Nutcan.com's MBL
11/08/2010 @ 03:05:01 PM
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And whether or not Obama is a socialist, there are a few on the left right now.

http://www.democracynow.org/2006/11/8/vermonts_bernie_sanders_becomes_first_socialist

http://news.yahoo.com/s/dailycaller/20101105/pl_dailycaller/ismsnbcslawrenceodonnellasocialist
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
11/08/2010 @ 03:09:07 PM
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Well, those that are declared socialists I have no problem with people accusing them of being one. That's like me saying "you're a white guy". You would respond "well, what's your point." Ask any socialist whether or not Obama is a socialist and there is a unanimous NO. That doesn't stop the becks, hannities, ingrahams, etc, from pushing this notion that he is an unabashed socialist.
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matt.jpgMatt - Nutcan.com's MBL
11/08/2010 @ 03:25:11 PM
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"Scott - Feingold for Wisconsin, Johnson for China"

If you (and most likely others on the left) can accuse Ron Johnson of selling out to China, then I won't get too worked up over people calling Obama a Socialist. emoticon
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scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
11/08/2010 @ 03:29:06 PM
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I don't see how the two are related at all. What am I accusing Johnson of, helping China? Is my opinion that free trade with China helps China more than it helps us the equivalent of calling someone who isn't one a socialist? Furthermore, am I a mainstream liberal? I'm not even really a liberal, except on a handful of issues.

Johnson supports free trade, Feingold doesn't. And neither do I.
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Scott screwed with this at 11/08/2010 3:33:14 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
11/08/2010 @ 03:36:01 PM
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It probably seems worse from the right because they have the louder venues. It's not for a lack of trying from the left.
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thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 3354 Posts
11/08/2010 @ 03:39:25 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 03:29:06 PM
Johnson supports free trade, Feingold doesn't. And neither do I.


I do, and so do most economists.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_trade#Opinion_of_economists
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
11/08/2010 @ 03:40:53 PM
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Well, then that is simply a difference of opinion; and before even reading your link, my thought was, you support it from an economic standpoint, and I oppose it from a moral standpoint. Then I read the link and saw that the two viewpoints are basically one right after the other. Again, not the same as calling Obama a socialist.
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Scott messed with this at 11/08/2010 3:43:58 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
11/08/2010 @ 03:45:06 PM
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Your implication is that it's his desire to help China more than the U.S., not simply a difference of opinion on how to help the U.S.
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matt.jpgMatt - Ombudsman
11/08/2010 @ 03:47:03 PM
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Jeremy beat me to the punch there.
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Matt screwed with this at 11/08/2010 3:53:45 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - No one's gay for Moleman
11/08/2010 @ 03:51:15 PM
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I mean I guess you could could say it's not the same because Scott's is just intentional name calling, of sorts, where as "Socialist" actually has a definition that Obama doesn't qualify for. So, for example, calling Obama a "boob" and calling him a "Socialist" are different because one of them is only an opinion, and one of them is demonstratively false.

Is that what you're getting at?
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Jeremy screwed with this at 11/08/2010 3:53:49 pm
thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - Nutcan.com's MBL
11/08/2010 @ 03:56:33 PM
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Well in someways, people who call Obama a socialist are saying that in a "name calling" way, exaggerating their case for effect. And the same goes, I'm sure, with those on the left.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - Super Chocolate Bear
11/08/2010 @ 03:59:26 PM
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Matt Wrote - Today @ 03:56:33 PM
Well in someways, people who call Obama a socialist are saying that in a "name calling" way, exaggerating their case for effect. And the same goes, I'm sure, with those on the left.


Yeah, I'm not making a case it is or isn't. I just wonder if that's what Scott is getting at.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - Broadcast in stunning 1080i
11/08/2010 @ 04:11:58 PM
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Without reading up on all the free trade, and really mostly-unchecked fiscal things in general stuff, do Economists account for the fact that "better" might not be as simple as a net gain?

Let's say the GDP of nutcan.com is 50 iDollars a year and it's split relatively evenly amongst the regulars. Then we do make some changes, take off some caps, ect and the result is that the GDP of Nutcanland goes up to 60iD, but 30 of that 60 is in one person's hands and 45 of the 60 is in two people's hands. So, Nutcanland became more "prosperous" as a whole, but as an average of individuals people are actually worse off. Is that off set by the thinking that say Scott might make less now than he did before, but since things he buys are cheaper, that doesn't really matter, and on the flipside there's now someone in China that can eat this week? Or is the idea more along the lines of, "this is the best way to run the planet, which will indirectly help our country"

Edit: I know on one hand it's as simple as, it might suck for the guy who made widgets in Iowa who's now jobless, but arbitrarily inflating the price of widgets from indonesia to help those few people, at the expense, literally, of everyone else is fairly bone headed, but it probably wouldn't take that large a % of the country being that "widget maker from Iowa" before enough people are worse off where it would be hard to call that "better"

Would it matter though? Do other countries do the same things with our crap? Not to mention the money we collect from those would have to just come from elsewhere.
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Jeremy edited this 5 times, last at 11/08/2010 4:36:04 pm
matt.jpgMatt - 3354 Posts
11/08/2010 @ 04:43:53 PM
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Your edit makes it easier, and is a big part of the answer. From my understanding, by protecting an industry from foreign competition, you are essentially subsidizing an inefficient industry. If you allow competition, that industry may shrink and those people will be worse off. However, the capital that was going into that industry is now open for other industries to use and expand. Meanwhile, we are now getting our widgets (or whatever) more cheaply from overseas, which also helps consumers, and the money that we spend on those widgets eventually ends up back here. Let's hope I get this right. If we now buy widgets from Japan, we pay in dollars. The Japanese people can use those dollars to buy American goods, or sell them (on a money exchange) to someone who eventually will buy American goods. Whatever that money is spent on will thus increase the economy of the United States (exchange rate stuff may complicated this somewhat, but I think the general point still remains).

Now its possible that some fraction of people will be affected and unable to adjust, but overall, society will be better off and be better able to assist those in need. Not only that, but now Japan will be better off as the same effects work their way as well.

Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 04:11:58 PM

Would it matter though? Do other countries do the same things with our crap? Not to mention the money we collect from those would have to just come from elsewhere.


Do you mean do other countries restrict our stuff, and would it matter?

I can't remember the argument off hand, but I believe the thinking is that even if our partner has quotas/tariffs/etc., If we open our side of trade with them, we are still better off.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - Always thinking of, but never about, the children.
11/08/2010 @ 04:50:46 PM
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Well my "would it matter" was 2 fold.

A) Since we're talking about relative costs, if most/all countries do this, isn't it a wash anyway?
B)If we waive ours would other countries follow suit, or, though we would still see the other gains, would our goods just be double effed?
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Jeremy messed with this at 11/08/2010 4:51:08 pm
matt.jpgMatt - 3354 Posts
11/08/2010 @ 04:58:19 PM
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A.) From my thinking, the more countries open up trade, the more goods and services are produced more efficiently, which is a net benefit to all.

B.) I sort of answered in my previous post.
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Matt edited this at 11/08/2010 4:58:56 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
11/08/2010 @ 05:06:14 PM
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I enjoy the juxtaposition on sentiments to the 3rd world on the left though. Anyone who doesn't want to send an endless amount of aid to the third world are monsters, but God help you if you want to move a factory there.

You can't have means to actually improve your life, but here's a box of Minnesota Vikings 2009 NFC Champion T-Shirts, on the house. We totally sent some food last week, but that dangerous cartel who became rich and powerful from stealing and selling our donations probably stole and sold it.
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thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - Ombudsman
11/08/2010 @ 05:08:40 PM
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Warlords do love their McDonalds.
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jon.jpgJon - many posts
11/08/2010 @ 05:11:58 PM
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Matt Wrote - Today @ 05:08:40 PM
Warlords do love their McDonalds.


Classic reference! But now you really have to find the video and post it.
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jon.jpgJon - 2847 Posts
11/08/2010 @ 05:14:40 PM
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beat you to it.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/4169/saturday-night-live-clinton-at-mcdonalds
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matt.jpgMatt - 3354 Posts
11/08/2010 @ 05:15:38 PM
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I was actually going to post the link, but got caught up watching the thing.
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